Workshop: How to reduce churn with a SaaS cancellation flow - UserActive

Workshop: How to reduce churn with a SaaS cancellation flow

In this workshop, we discussed how to prevent cancellation, identify causes of churn, resolve customer problems, and operate a feedback loop. This workshop gave attendees a clear idea of how to reduce churn using a SaaS cancellation flow, allowing them to implement changes in their SaaS immediately.

[00:00:28] – Peter

Hello everybody.Welcome to the workshop today. There are a few people still joining, so we’re just going to keep letting people into the workshop for a moment or two and we’ll get started. Feel free to put your camera on. It’d be really nice to see who’s joining. We’re going to have an interactive session, so if you would like to have your camera on and ask any questions during the session or I’m going to ask people to share any issues or challenges they have with churn or cancellations as we go through. So then we can get to see who you are and see if we can help out with any of your challenges.

Okay, so let’s get started, shall we? How to reduce churn with cancellation flows. So this is a popular topic. This was requested by some of our clients and also people in our audience. We manage a very big Facebook group of 12,000 founders and this topic is often quite a popular one since we design quite frequently. We often are designing cancellation flows and therefore we have put together an approach, a bit of a process system, how to design them, at least how to get started thinking about designing them for yourself.

Welcome

So thanks for joining us. Good to see some of your faces. Eric, Josh, Baris. Great to see you guys. Everybody else we can see there’s quite a few of you joining, so I appreciate you joining us. Feel free to put your cameras on if you want to feel more engaged. But yeah, let’s get started. I think what we want to do first of all is a few intros. Please jump into the chat, into the chat for this session and I’d love to hear your names and where you’re from, where you’re joining us from today. That would be really great. So why don’t you put your names and when you’re joining from today? So I’m Peter. I’m joining from Barcelona, where we’re based.

We’ve got Leonardo from Brazil. Hi Leo, thank you for joining. Eric Anderson from South Dakota. Awesome. Cristobal from Chile. Brian from South, California. Franz is from California. Baris from Porto. Hey, Baris. Good to see you. Thanks for joining us. Josh from London. Awesome. Really good group. Nice and mixed all over the place. Europe and the states so far. Siva from Toronto, Canada. Vishroot from India. Welcome. Thanks for joining.

Okay, great. Good to see a nice diverse group and good bunch of people on here. So we should ask some good SaaS. Hey, anyone would put in the name of their SaaS company so that we get to have a little idea of the kind of SaaS we’ve got on this session today that will help me think about the type of cancellations and the kind of churn that you might be getting. Okay, so we’ve got up six IO directiq salesforce.

Hey, that’s a big SaaS hub campana digital. Great. We just had Angela joining. Hello, Angela. If you’re just joining, welcome. Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments. Flick, tech, social media analytics that’s Josh and I’m great. Okay. Awesome. I’ve got some really interesting products there, a few CRMs. What does optics do? Eric, if you want to share, let us know what optics does. Yeah, sure.

[00:04:14] – Eric Anderson

We are essentially a sales automation platform that somebody can use as a CRM, but largely what we do is we really help people with automation. Bringing automation to anybody that is on our platform.

[00:04:30] – Peter

Fantastic. Sales automation. Excellent. I know that’s a hot topic in SaaS, so sounds good. Good to have you with us. Sometimes I’m looking over to the right because I have another screen here. So if you see me looking over to the right, not distracted, I’m seeing you all in all your faces there. Okay. So let’s jump in, shall we? We’re going to be looking at how you can reduce churn. If you have any issues, any big problems in your SaaS at the moment and you need a bit of help or you need a SaaS expert to have 15 minutes chat with you to talk through some of these issues, feel free to book a strategy call with us so that’s useractive.io/15min-strategy.

I’m always happy to jump on calls. I love hearing about your status, products, current challenges. We’re going to put a link to this into the chat now, so Sarah is going to put a link for you there. Here’s a link to book, so feel free to book that for a convenient time for you. And that said, let’s jump in and see what we’re going to be looking at today on this session.

[00:05:40] – Peter

So for this workshop we’re going to look at challenges you have with your cancellations. So I encourage you to share them when I ask on certain slides and ask for different challenges. You’ve got topics so please join and feel free to jump on the mic and chat just how Eric did, or feel free to also write in the comments. I’d love to hear your issues and see if I can help. The next thing we’re going to do is look at a process, our system for creating a cancellation flow that you can design and implement into your SaaS. So we’re going to look at that today.

Then we’re going to review a flow that we’ve designed in Figma. There are two examples I’m going to share with you, a simple flow and then a more complex flow. So we’re going to jump in and look at a real flow that we designed, that was developed and launched and it’s currently helping with cancellations and insights for several of our clients. At the end there’s just a bit of time for questions. If you haven’t asked any questions during the session, that’s something you want me to ask me.

[00:06:39] – Peter

Please make sure you do before you jump off the call. And what are we going to give you okay, so we’ve got onboarding worksheets. I’m going to give you actually, that should say cancellations to my bad. That’s a mistake that’s kept in there. This should say, a cancellation flow worksheet. You can always book a call using the link that Sarah shared. That’s just ad hoc help. No obligation just to chat if you need some help with your staff and you’ve got a current issue you want to ask me about, and we’re going to share the recordings for this session. Okay, so let’s get started. First of all, I would love to hear issues you guys currently have.

So do you currently have any problems with churn that you’re aware of, or are there issues with cancellations, whatever that may be? Reasons for cancellations, or you’re getting a lot of cancellations, you’re not quite sure why, please add in the comments or feel free to jump on and let me know any challenges. Anyone got any issues out there currently? Even if you’re thinking about cancellations, I know there’ll be reasons why you joined the workshop, so feel free to share them and I’ll see if I can address them during the session.

[00:07:58] – Peter

Okay, so, Eric, lifetime deal users, that’s a big one. Eric, do you want to talk to us a little bit more about this? If you run AppSumo or a similar kind of promotion?

[00:08:12] – Eric Anderson

Yeah. So we had joined SaaS Mantra here, I think, last year. I know, and it was great to see some registrants and those things are all great, but now that we’ve added more features, added more functionality, and changed our pricing model altogether, we’re now usage based instead of per user or per account. The attitude from many of the Ltd users is, well, what have you done for me lately? And it’s just a very difficult one to try to overcome.

And then when we have new products come out, they’ll say, well, what’s my price for your new cold email class? Or whatever. The thing is to tell them that’s the same price, you just get pushed back. And we’ve stopped doing LTD deals. For the record, I don’t think that we’ll ever do any of those again, but would love to hear from anybody else. How they’ve had success in making sure to switch those people.

[00:09:17] – Peter

I think that’s a common challenge with LTD users. If anyone else here has run an LTD campaign and has a good experience, please jump in and share. If you have anything to share with Eric on this. But my take on it is that it’s quite a good way to obviously a good way to inject some capital. If you’re bootstrapping, you don’t want to dilute at all, or you’re at an early stage where you don’t have evaluation, it’s a great way to get some cash in. The challenge is that you’re getting a lot of user signing up and not really going to be your ICP. Right.

And as your product develops and you get a clear idea of the ICP and you develop your products and hone the product to better serve that demographic of users, then the lifetime deal users might feel a little maybe that the product isn’t really serving them. That’s a regular challenge. The thing that is a recommendation. There’s already a good coach in SaaS called TK Kader. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him, he’s based in Texas, in the States. His recommendation is to develop your go-to-market strategy.

[00:10:29] – Peter

And that’s a separate practise from LTDs, because LTDs almost throw you from finding your go-to-market strategy that will actually help you grow and scale your stats. And if you can work on that strategy without any distraction, then you’re in almost an advantageous situation. If you want Ltd deals campaigns, I think you have to run them concurrently with working on your go to market strategy, and that’s a priority. Maybe this has been good to get some early users, some early adopters, but maybe they’re not going to be your ICP.

So that’s the challenge with that, Eric. And perhaps your decision not to run anymore or to focus on the product and where you’re going is the right thing. Just probably will give you some friction, I expect. So Ashitoshi has asked me the name again of that SaaS code he’s called TK Kader. I’m just going to put that in the chat there. TK’s built and sold fast businesses. He’s a really good coach in the space, mostly on theory and on Practise running yourself. Okay, Mason, still having people joining, this is great during the session. Okay, so let’s look at the kind of problems you can have if you don’t have a cancellation flow.

[00:11:57] – Peter

So first of all, you’ve got the inability to prevent cancellations. So you don’t really get a warning when someone’s about to cancel. You’re unable to interrupt them in that process. You only find out after they’ve cancelled, right? You get a notification or their subscriptions stop going through and you’ll see, okay, we’ve lost a user, we didn’t have any warning, we weren’t able to prevent that in any way. The next problem that you’re going to be struggling with is that you have a lack of understanding, lack of insight as to why these users are cancelling because you don’t get the chance to really speak with them.

And you might have many different types of users, especially in the early days. Take the Ltd example, you might have users that will cancel because it’s not a good fit. There’s many reasons that you won’t understand because you just won’t have the chance to get the insight. Now this becomes really valuable if you have users from your ICP cancelling, because they will be giving reasons that are going to be really valid, that you really need to solve in your south. Okay, so that’s lack of understanding.

[00:13:07] – Peter

I think we’ve got a baby screaming next door, so I want to shut that up. Okay, the third thing we’ve got here is no system. So that’s a real problem. No system for managing cancellations. That’s going to mean that it’s very sporadic, you can’t measure it very easily and it’s hard to get data for that. Okay, so those are the three big challenges. But then let’s consider why we would use cancellation flows. So back to that relevant first point. The first reason why is you get the opportunity to prevent them if you can.

The second thing is if there are objections that a user might have about your product that’s going to cause them to cancel, you might be able to handle those. You might be able to resolve the problems that they have. And that might lead to either retaining that user or getting some insight that you can use for future users that are having the same difficulty. Okay, so that’s where this third reason for having a cancellation flow comes in. You get the chance to capture the information. So this is critical information before they leave that was led to the reason for them leaving.

[00:14:23] – Peter

Once you get that information, then you can start to work with it, to do something about it. So as you’re gathering this information, you start to be able to operate a feedback loop, right? This is quite common theory in SaaS, also in startups, and the kind of lean and agile process for building products, but applied specifically to churn, you’ve got these five steps that you can use in your feedback loop. So first of all is identifying the reason that users are wanting to cancel. If you get the reason, that might lead to you to help you understanding the problem.

Often the reason isn’t really the problem of why they’ve cancelled, right? They might give you a reason, but the underlying problem might be something deeper or something that may not just be obvious at first. Once you know the problem, you can start to consider solutions and define those solutions. And the next thing you can do is start to prioritise tasks or solutions that you can implement in your product. And once you are able to implement those, you can release these into your products. So these might be design improvements or these might even be off-platform things outside the product.

[00:15:47] – Peter

Some better customer success support or help with off platform help with something related to their account, like a tricky integration. So this feedback loop is really what’s going to help you reduce churn in the long term. You might be able to prevent some users, but I think the vast majority is always going to be difficult to prevent. But in the longer term, cancellation flows giving you a feedback loop, giving you insights that you can keep iterating improvements into your product that build up retention. That’s the theory that we’re operating.

So I’m going to talk through a few steps here on building your cancellation flows. And I’m going to ask you all to share things that relate to you and your SaaS to each of these steps that we go through here. So, first of all, I want you to list out the reasons that you think users might be cancelling for your SaaS. So there are very common reasons. Like in this first box here, I’ve listed pricing. There are very common reasons, but there are also reasons that might be specific to your particular SaaS. A tricky integration is a good example of that.

[00:17:11] – Peter

For instance, you might have a SaaS that requires users to integrate with another platform or their website. So can anybody tell me any reasons that you might be aware of why users might cancel for your SaaS? Okay, Ash, that’s a really good one. No longer using the platform. That’s another common one. So most people can have that. Barris has mentioned that seasonal users who need the product for a few months of the year who usually come back. That’s interesting, isn’t it?

That might be say, you have alumni for a university or I was speaking with a SaaS founder just yesterday, who they run a driving learning school. So doing your driving theory. These are groups of learners that go through the platform, and then they’ll take their exams. So they come in, they use it for a period, and then they go. Also, the end client is actually the driving schools. Right? So the driving schools will run groups at a time. They might, in one month, do one group, and then they might have some downtime, and then they’re running another group. So that relates to what you were suggesting, Barris, but you can obviously have much more seasonal users, like Christmas period, really busy for a month, and then they go off.

[00:18:39] – Peter

Bishoproot has given us two here, one using other products. So these are competitors to technical issues? Yeah, definitely. The product might be quite technical, might be difficult to use. They might not be fully able to set it up. These are really good questions. Ash also forgot to upgrade. Yeah, I mean, that happens, doesn’t it? You lose the momentum throughout premium or free trial. Mason? Switching on and off of a product as a one off for specific users. Yeah, they might have users coming and going and they might want to switch users off. Is that what you meant? Mason? Feel free to explain if you want to come on the mic.

[00:19:36] – Daniel Zaturansky

Yeah, sorry about that. Basically, there are certain utilities within the platform that people want, but only, like, for a specific time.

[00:19:44] – Eric Anderson

They’ll do a bunch of work in.

[00:19:45] – Daniel Zaturansky

It, then they’ll get a specific export or something like this. And as soon as they have the assets that they want, they then unsubscribe until the next time that they want to do that.

[00:19:54] – Peter

Yeah, great. Exactly. So it’s quite similar to the seasonal users at Paris Metro. Yeah, there’s practical reasons why they’d come on, they have a task to do. They perform that task and then they go so kind of activating and then deactivating users, no time to use the product. I’ve heard that one quite a few times before. Sometimes that was Daniel who shared this with us. Sometimes that isn’t the real reason. They’re too busy. There might be an underlying thing. Maybe the software is not solving a big enough problem for them that they haven’t prioritised the time.

So this is what I mentioned a couple of slides ago, where you have users giving a reason for cancellation, but then you’re also trying to understand the real problem behind that reason. So there’s a little bit of research or detective work to do sometimes to get to the bottom, get to the bottom of the problem. Adrian Paddy. Bad customer support. Thanks for showing that, Adrian. Hey, the great thing about things like that, feedback like that, is that you can really start to work on improving that immediately. And it’s probably not going to be so much of a mystery on how you can improve that.

[00:21:09] – Peter

So Josh has mentioned that users might not be seeing crazy results within the trial period, so the expectations are not meeting reality. Yeah, that would be one of those reasons that you want to dig a little bit deeper and then if you’re able to visualise exactly what the users expectations were, then you can start doing the work to try and get your product and the experience that they have with your product to align with those expectations. So it becomes very valuable. And Vishroot has mentioned that they might not be using the service enough ashes listed, a few more here, so the product is no longer needed.

Or they might be moving to a competitor, or there might be payment failures. That’s quite common, isn’t it? The credit card failure in subscription business model product could be difficult to use, prices too high, or product limitation. Maybe there’s some features missing. Or maybe there’s some usage that they have limits to and there’s not enough usage that they can use on their plan or something like that. Okay, so Barris has also mentioned here, a little off topic, but what do you think about users going away without cancelling?

[00:22:28] – Peter

Cancelling is simple, a click usually, but you might have the case where cancel uses that to stop using products. Maybe they wanted to cancel, but they just never did. And they’ve been paying monthly but haven’t used the system since 2019. Wow. Yeah, maybe that is common. Their card is still being charged. Is that happening with you, Baris? Have you got a few customs like that? I don’t know if you wanted to share your one. Oh, you have around ten. Yeah, you mentioned in the chat. Wow. Yeah.

[00:23:08] – Speaker 4

Sorry. I can also talk about it too. There’s only ten uses. It’s not a big deal. But whenever I see that who’s paying but not active in the system. I feel guilty, but I don’t know the ethical way of it. They signed up for it and our terms of use says that it automatically renews every month. So I’m not doing something illegal or wrong, but should I just cancel them after six inactive months, for example? I don’t know if there’s an ethical approach to this or if others are what others are doing, but every few months I’m seeing it at the table and feeling guilty for users that who are paying. And someone paying for two years is crazy.

[00:23:52] – Peter

Yeah, I think that’s really great that you’re considering the ethical side for that. I think there will be a lot of staff company to just leave those indefinitely. You obviously don’t have an obligation to they’ve agreed to your terms and conditions. But yeah, as Josh mentioned, you could have chargeback disputes based around that before once. Maybe they just didn’t realise or they’ve forgotten or they’re not checking their statements and then they come back and think, oh, goodness me, I didn’t realise they’ve been paying for this for so long.

You might have a dispute and that basis, you might offer to pay back some of that cancellation period, but yes, personally, I can’t say that I know a best practise for this. This link that Ashes shared in the chat is interesting that Netflix starting to cancel inactive customer subscriptions, so I think it’s probably an ethical thing, but it’s also probably a practicality thing of wanting to reduce the likelihood of having to deal with chargeback disputes later on. But yeah, I would expect this to be a judgement call and I would love to hear from really experienced SaaS Found as how they’ve treated this if this has become an issue for them.

[00:25:08] – Peter

Yeah, really interesting topic there, Josh. How did you tackle this? If you’re happy to share or you wanted to when you’ve had these chargeback disputes? I don’t know if you’re able to share your experience and how you trust them. That would be interesting. Yeah.

[00:25:30] – Speaker 5

I mean, typically we try to reach out to them. If we see one or two come through, then it’s fairly obvious that they are going to start going back through their statements and going through every single one. So we’ll try and reach out to those users and a sort of explain, remind them who we are and why they originally signed up. And to be honest, from the ethical side of things, if it’s clear that it does look like they’ve sort of maybe had a trial, forgot to cancel, I would tend just to give them their money back for us. I’d much rather have them think of us in a nice light than keep money that was never destined to be ours in the first place.

[00:26:18] – Peter

Yeah, it’s a really nice way to think of it. Yeah. Maybe you can have a set time period whereby, if you notice inactive accounts that are paying, you could have reached out to them an email or contact and just clarify or raise their awareness on that. Okay, so, yeah, really everyone’s putting some really great topics in here, I think. Reasons for cancellation, you’ve got a whole host of stuff, so you could really populate many more than just eight reasons here. But what you want to find is the key ones that relate to your SaaS, obviously the common ones for SaaS, but then you have specific things that relate to your product and really great.

So, reasons for cancellation, what you do in your cancellation flow, this is an example of one that we designed for Virtual Summit software. What you do is when the user gets to this point of cancellation, we’re just going to serve up a screen that asks them to share the reason why. Now if they want to cancel, they have to go through this flow. So these are required answers. In this case with Virtual Summit, we identified five and then we offered other reasons so that they can actually have an open text area.

[00:27:41] – Peter

Just right specific reasons. So software is too costly, software is difficult to use. Some of the functionality I need is missing, I’m using a different product or I’m not using the product. So all of these have come up in the chat. They’re quite common and they’re really good to covers the bases. Other reasons is a really nice thing to add there because then there might be something that’s not covered and then that can be a required field. So we make sure we gather the data. The next thing you want to think about is, okay, obviously there are problems or reasons that your user might wish to cancel, but you probably have a lot of resources besides just your SaaS product that you can use to try to resolve any issue or problem that your user is facing.

So good examples of resources might be customer support. You might have a good knowledge base or you might have tutorials. There might be a number of things that you can do that you can use to offer some kind of support or ability to solve this users problem or issue. Can anybody share, can you share in the chat just your ideas around anything that you have that you can think of that might resolve or might address any issues.

[00:29:13] – Peter

A typical one here is the software is difficult to use, okay? So if you have a good knowledge base and tutorials, you might be able to get back to them. Hey, what are you struggling with? Can we cheque out these tutorials? Cheque out the knowledge base on this, might be able to solve that specific issue. Yeah. Eric, the software difficult to use is extremely commonly common and people don’t want to read and do any work. Isn’t that true? A lot of times, especially nowadays, SaaS is so intuitive that the requirement for your product to be intuitive is a lot greater.

So if users can self-serve and resolve their problems without having to figure out something, watching tutorials or spending time, then that can be a reason why they churn. But at this stage, you might be in an early stage with your staff. You might not have really intuitive features just yet. There might be some complex things where you can provide customer service to help out or you have tutorials or additional material. So let me just look through a couple of these here. We’ve got group onboarding sessions. That’s a great one, Daniel.

[00:30:30] – Peter

If you’ve run any, it would be great if you wanted to talk us through and share what you’ve done or how these have looked. But yeah, concierge on Boarding or onboarding support or a webinar or getting a bunch of users to jump on and you help them with the common onboarding issues in your product. Okay, Sarah heading out. Thanks, Sarah. Thanks for joining us.

And live onboarding webinars. Yeah. Live on boarding webinars. That’s it. Cheers. Barris has a nice comment here. Eric, I recommend booking a session with Peter if you have difficulty to get feedback from your users. Thanks, Barris. Yeah, Barris and I have had some chats and reviewed barracks, too, so always happy to help, Eric, if that’s something you need. Great. So by this stage, you’ve at least lifted out a few things you can do. I love the onboarding webinars idea. Daniel.

[00:31:35] – Daniel Zaturansky

Yes. I can actually give us some details if you want. Sure. So what we are doing, it depends, we are dividing our customers into the self serve customers into two. The ones that the lower rates, I mean, the low paying rate, we just abandon them, like up to, let’s say, $700 ARR. Then we give them a group on Boarding, meaning that there are office hours that you just sign them up. Once a user signs up, you’re going to get the email or a pop up that welcome to the company and you’re welcome to join our webinars on Monday and Thursday at an hour that probably covers the world.

That’s going to be kind of convenient for most of the time zones. And the users paying from $1,000 per year, we give them a personal 15 minutes on Boarding because we know, we recognise that those users, we might be able to expand into more bigger accounts so that we have personal approach to them. You speak to them, understand, before we start the personal one, we send them a questionnaire, understanding their needs, understanding what does it mean successful for them? So that’s how we work now and it brings amazing results.

[00:33:20] – Daniel Zaturansky

We find those users that sometimes people using two or three people in the same group using one account, then we say, look, you should add more feeds and you get more benefits and you don’t know. So we get to just talk to them through features new. Features through different things that they haven’t been finding themselves. There is not a good product discovery through the first hours or days of their onboarding. So that really works amazingly.

And the group ones as well, because sometimes you can group them into different professions, like if they’re HRs or Learning Development or It individuals, we can group them that way. And then they also have, as you see here, they have the same kind of topics they’re really kind of interested in. Charles so the same webinar that you create now, many people have the same interest. So that’s how we figure out I love it.

[00:34:25] – Peter

Daniel it sounds like you really worked on that and build it up over time and put a lot of effort into that. I love how the touch point is there’s quite a high level of touch point. There interaction and engagement. How do you segregate the two types of users? At the beginning you said you segregate the self serve users and you put them in.

[00:34:52] – Daniel Zaturansky

So we use our bi system and once the user signs up so there is an onboarding session there on boarding, they give us who they are, what kind of departments. We know more or less the size of the company because they fill them in and then based on the plan so when if they buy a plan up to $700, then we know, okay, we segregate them. They’re going to go through that route and they’re going to get these emails and these pop ups. Then the other thing. So basically based on revenue, first of all, based on revenue, secondly, based on their emails, if they come from an enterprise email, then we know we need to give them special more attention because those ones can really kind of expand.

[00:35:48] – Peter

Yeah, brilliant. So you have onboarding questions to just identify a bit more info and then you also get some more information from your worksheets or when they’re signing up for the webinars, you also can identify from the plans that they bought. I mean, you’re gathering data that you can use in that feedback loop as well, right. So you can always be improving the onboarding process and then you’re also basically building up that kind of loyalty and retention. So you’re probably getting a lot less cancellations just through doing this activity in the beginning.

[00:36:28] – Daniel Zaturansky

Exactly.

[00:36:28] – Peter

Sounds like you’re getting more seats and account expansion happening from this too. So that’s a great exercise. It’s funny, isn’t it, how really great onboarding has such a big impact in reducing churn as well, right?

[00:36:44] – Daniel Zaturansky

True. It works magically. And anecdotally Donna Weber, she said through her research that the onboarding accounts for 25% of the churn. If you go to onboarding, the bad on boarding is 25 of the chain reasons coming from bad on board or in. So that’s really important to do the right onboarding with the user.

[00:37:14] – Peter

Yeah, brilliant. Thank you for sharing that. Daniel. I think we’ve had a couple of comments in the chat that this was really valuable ash gold nuggets from Daniel. So I appreciate it, and I think other people find value in that too. So I appreciate you sharing. Okay, so we’ve listed our resources here. We have the reasons that your users might be cancelling. Now, we’ve listed out some resources that we can use to provide them with value. Okay? Now, we want to present these resources in our cancellation flow, right? So if you’ve got customer support, hey, they can connect.

If you’re running Webinars or one on one session with Customer Success Agent, then they could book right there or they can watch some tutorials or join the launcher. So you can start to present these very things in your cancellation flow. And it might relate if you’ve done this on your Onboarding in a similar way to Daniel, then this can also tie into the stuff that you’ve got in your Onboarding. So in this step, what we do is we just basically match up the problems or the reasons these problems came from the reasons that your users gave for cancelling, and then we can give them an offer, right?

[00:38:32] – Peter

So an example here is that users might be struggling with an integration that they have to do during Onboarding, and then you might have an offer. So if they try to cancel and say, we’re struggling with an integration, you’ll say, okay, did you know that we do done for you integration support? There we go. Then you’re matching up. You’re trying to resolve the problem to prevent the cancellation. So for each of the problems that your users might have with your product, see if from the resources that you’ve listed, you can serve them a solution to that. And we back basically match these up. So this is almost like the first two exercises. We’re just kind of matching them up now because we’ve listed out brainstormed the different problems and resources that we’ve got.

Now, once you match these up, you can present in your flow, you can present offers or suggestions to your user. So we designed this as a CRM called CRM Grow that we worked a lot of UI and UX work on. And we’ve got this simple option for users. If they’re not using the platform yet or they’re struggling to get their data in there and get it all set up which can happen quite occasionally in CRMs.

Then rather than having them fully cancel. We offer them the opportunity to pause the account while either they’re getting ready to resolve the problem or they are exporting data. Whatever the reason might be. Pausing the account and keeping their data for $7 a month. Now, this can be a really good decision. I actually used this myself recently, so I signed up for Reply.io. We’ve got one of the professional plans for Reply, but we’re not ready to do album.

We don’t have a sales team and I think I prematurely signed up for Reply.io, and they have something very similar to this. Okay, so if you bought a yearly subscription with a 20% discount based on signing up for a year, you can even pause that yearly subscription six months in, for example. Right. And I might be paying something like $7 a month. I could do that for three to six months, and then once I reactivate my account, I’ve still got six months left on the annual plan. So it’s pretty useful, and it can also give you time to help understanding the issues that some of these users might have. Another thing might be that somebody shared in the chat. One of the reasons could be that they don’t have the right usage or features.

Now, could that be that they’re not on the right plan? Is there something that they’re not aware of? If they’re clicking on something around pricing or something around usage or features, then it could be an option to show the option to upgrade or downgrade or adjust their plan. So we’ll present them with the plans, and maybe we’ll highlight exactly features that they might be benefiting from on a higher plan that they might need that are currently missing. Okay, so Timmy Rosen left a comment here in the chat. I’m just going to read that before we move on to the next slide. So Timmy says we have a SaaS, and our customers have lots of data that needs to be uploaded.

[00:42:05] – Peter

Our major issue is uploading that data, but once uploaded, the customer is unlikely to cancel. I’m looking for suggestions on the best way to upload large amounts of data. We can let users with smaller numbers of properties, property management, software okay. Cheque their data, or we can do it for them with no mistakes. But the subscribers with the larger amounts of data, we basically have to do it. Has anyone worked out the difficulties of this kind of issue?

Okay, Timmy, I think I might have time to do this. I’m not sure this is a great idea, but I’m going to see if I can pick out something that we designed recently for a company that has a very similar, very similar issue, the one you just described. Okay. And I’m going to see if I can dig this out. Basically, we’ll refer to this as a data migration, an import. Okay. So there might be some tools that you can use to process this data faster. I’d be interested in how they download and import this data. Is it CSV or is it much more complex? But I think there are options that you can do.

[00:43:26] – Peter

You’ve probably considered already are a paid service where you have a consultant that has a one off fee to help them do this migration, make sure it operates successfully, and take off as much workload from them as you can. So freeing them up. The other way is to design a detailed onboarding flow for the migration. Now, if I have access to onboarding here, we’ve done a similar thing. This is a CRM for managing inventory and stock. Now, one of the things that companies need to do to use this software is integrate it with their inventory platform.

Now, they’re going to import a huge amount of data based on all of the products in their warehouse that they sell. And basically, that integration could take some time. So what we did is we mapped out the flow and then designed a specific onboarding flow for this data migration. It becomes more self-serve, and it’s inside the product. And if they need support, they can request it. So they select their inventory platform. Once they’ve selected it, they have to connect with the API. So they’ve got the key, the API and the key. There’s a bit of troubleshooting.

[00:44:51] – Peter

If they need help with that, there’s an onboarding team that can come on and chat and help talk them through that. There’s also no counting integration that they need to do with QuickBooks or Zero. So then we show them a screen here that says, look, your integration is in progress. This could take several hours. We show them status, percentage of completion, and in the meantime, we give them a few activities. Would you like to take a mini tour of the CRM?

Do you want to learn some of the best practises for wholesale and distribution businesses that we recommend for using our platform? Or we also get them to start setting up their account, logo and branding. We offer this. They can have an SMS notification when this integration when this data migration is complete, they can also go straight into the product and start exploring. And then they come back to the screen to see progress. As progress is happening, you’ll see here that we’re letting them know what stage of the import they’re on. So there might be a lot of images for products that get migrated. So we hit the moment they get to that step, and then eventually when this is done, we would let them know, and they can jump back into the product.

[00:46:23] – Peter

Yes, your integration got an integration complete screen coming up here. Integration is complete, and you get started with Sam. So that’s one way that you can do it, by designing this in your product. Timmy, is that useful? If anyone else has got experience of managing big data imports, to get users active, there’s obviously a challenge, and there’s a benefit. The challenge is, yes, it takes a while, and there’s a lot of friction. The benefit is that once it’s done, the commitment with the product is great. These users have gone through a big issue, and then they’ve got a lot of commitments to the product. Okay, glad that was helpful to me. Really glad that was helpful.

It does relate to cancellations, and that’s why I wanted to jump in, even though that’s something that we do onboarding. So, you know, we talked about that feedback loop. Well, that’s insight that you might be getting some cancellations and then that feedback loop. Okay. We designed that flow in onboarding, so we’re going to avoid that problem in the future. Let me just jump back into slideshow made so you get a better view of this, and then we get to this step so we understand the reasons why they’re cancelling.

[00:47:43] – Peter

We know what our resources are, and we’ve put together some suggestions that we can have to solve their problem. Now, we can also use offers, right? So not using the account. Okay. Can they pause the account for $9 a month or $7 a month? That’s a good offer. Or half price for a period of time. Or can we give them a one to one with a customer success rep? So when you get to this point, you’re listing out the reasons for users cancelling, and then you’re giving them options that you can design in your cancellation flow.

So if they click on a certain reason, you’re going to present them with an offer. Once they land on these offers, they might still say, no thanks, I just want to cancel. Okay. And then once they get to that cancellation, what we want to do is just make sure that we get the reason. If we haven’t got a detailed reason yet, we’re going to say, hey, one last thing. Just before you cancel your subscription, please let us know why you decide not to use the software. And that’s really a critical component. We make that a required field.

[00:48:50] – Peter

Right. They could put some just spam text in there, but I think a lot of times people will give you a valid reason. So Ash has mentioned that Intercom needs to use this to install a snippet to their website. Yeah, this is really common kind of integration, right. It’s fairly high friction, but they have one of the best onboarding flows. Take a look at them and similar high initial friction companies. Yeah, this is such a good activity. We do it all the time because we’re product designers, and we obviously want to see best practise from the leading SaaS companies that when we’re designing for our clients, we do that.

So we’re checking these kind of flows all the time. And I’d recommend, if you’re working on it, companies like Intercom, some of the leaders will have invested a lot of time, money, and talent to design these flows. So no better place than get it from some of the market leaders. Okay, so there you go. This is how we would go through the process of designing a cancellation flow. Once you’ve got this, you can literally start designing up the flow because you have all of the content for your flow and the options.

[00:50:00] – Peter

So Crystal Bell Peter pausing alternative would be only possible in a scenario where we would erase the data otherwise. Right. The thing is, it works as an incentive to keep the account. Okay, so it does cost there are several related costs to keeping data for your users. So this $7 fee covers that cost maybe a bit more considering it’s at scale, but it might not be the only incentive you can use. I wouldn’t necessarily consider it to be the only scenario. So it does work as an incentive and that’s what you kind of need in that scenario, to keep them paying. You want that to be incentive. And there might be other incentives that you can think of that might be other users that have viewing rights.

Imagine a company like Miro or Zoom, you have a paying user and then you have many other users that can access or view your content. Maybe an incentive would be to maintain those other users permissions while you just pay a small fee. So you could think of other use cases but definitely keeping their data. It’s a good incentive. Ashutosh mentioned that Zoom uses Attribution to inform their users on what are they going to lose, ie x hours of recording. Yeah. And meeting duration time. So I remember when I had a freezing account, there’s a 45 minutes limit on meetings, so you got to remind them. Or if you cancel, you want to lose this usage or that usage. I like that. Thanks Ash, for the great comments.

I’m going to share just briefly two cancellation flows, a simple one and then a slightly more complex one. In the meantime, is there any questions, anything anyone wants to ask before I jump into these flows? No. Adrian, what is your stand on surveys? I come from a product design background, so we’re product designers. Okay, so you’ve just clarified that this is as a form of prevention, right. Surveys as a form of prevention. Do you want to come on the mic and just talk us through?

[00:52:47] – Adrian Pali

Yeah, well, what I was talking about is more to stabilise some form of communication with the customer because not always customers bring up their their troubles and most of the time because of often they have technical difficulties, they do not bring up their issues. And preferably if the product is not being used to its full potential or the customer is not taking benefit from it, usually this can mean often a cancellation. So I just wanted to have a standpoint on the surveys of the product. Customer wise, it does impact positively on reducing the charm.

[00:53:54] – Peter

Yeah, interesting. So Josh has mentioned NPS and also Nick has a real world home services business and after every visit that Nick ask for NPS from users, this allows us to catch service issues and address proactively before most cancellations. Yeah, that’s pretty neat. Yeah, I think that’s really good. I’m not sure how effective it is in terms of prevention. That’s my only quit. Definitely as a form of data capture for insights that you can use in your feedback loop to improve your product.

[00:54:34] – Adrian Pali

Yeah, this is what I meant. Thanks.

[00:54:36] – Peter

Yeah, sure. I’m a huge advocate of this. As much info as you can get from your users that they’re willing to share that doesn’t provide too much friction, the better. Right. So you can think of it in terms of two types of data you’ve got scoring. So you cannot be asking them things like, how would you rate this feature out of five that they’re using and during Onboarding or their early usage or when you release a new feature. This is a great way to get feedback on large scale because you get an aggregate score from all of your users.

And the other way is to receive custom data so they can type in responses. It’s much harder to work with those kind of feedback. Right. Because if you have users typing in different things, it’s harder to get to group that into common issues. But that data is usually more insightful because they’re speaking more detail and they might be giving you a lot more specific. So the scoring method is really great, easy for the users as well. But for things like the last step in cancellations like this one, we like to get the detail right.

[00:55:57] – Peter

We’ve tried to get all the information from them before, but this is our last attempt to get as much info as possible. Yeah. Josh says that we add our NPS scores into our wider customer health score data. That’s great, isn’t it? So you’re getting a larger customer health reading. I wonder if you do that, Josh, in some kind of customer success platform. Customer success software? Nick says the intex platforms banks often try to NPS on how using the app or web portal after a session.

You can do the same thing quick in-app surveys on a specific feature where you’re able to achieve your goal today. Yeah, exactly. And that’s really a good way to just get ratings or results on scale, right? Because you’ve got yes or no, and you can get a percentage completion rate on feature usage. Okay, that’s really neat. So what I’m going to do is jump into just sharing with you two cancellation flows that we’ve done. I’m going going to make us full screen. I want to remove the figure UI. Okay. So Virtual Summit software. The plan on this was for us to just design a really simple cancellation flow.

[00:57:22] – Peter

Wasn’t going to be anything too crazy. Now, there is often a discussion on where you put the cancellation option. We’ve got this billing screen in this binning screen for Virtual Summits, we’re showing the plans. So the first thing is to show the plans. It highlights the current plan for the user and it can, in some cases, recommend upgrades or promote the upgrades. Now, for this particular flow, we’ve got the cancellation down here with a text link. Some people have it as a nice big button, and I kind of recommend not having it as a big bright button because we don’t want it to look like a call to action. Right.

But we do want people to be able to cancel when they need to. Hey, Josh, appreciate you joining us. Thanks for being on the call. Loved it. And we’ve got a recording, so take care. We’ll see you next time. Yeah, we’re just running up to the end now, so I’m just going to quickly go through this and we’ll wrap up. So cancellation is there. Okay, so user clicks on that. Now we give them the options. We mention these options before. Too costly, difficult to use, functionality is missing.

[00:58:35] – Peter

I’m using a different product. I’m not using the product for the reason. So whatever they select here, we’ve got a tailored flow to respond to them. Okay, so I’m not using the product. Okay, maybe they need some customer support. Is there something that they don’t understand that they need some more help with onboarding? We can also refer them to Knowledge Base. Maybe that’s not the most popular of responses. If they say, no, we still want to cancel, then we ask for their response. Subscription cancel. So that is a really brief flow. You can often have something like this that shows up on whatever they select.

But the key thing here is that you’re getting the reason, and now you can work with that data if you want to go into more detail. You can design a flow similar to CRM growth. So we put more options and more tailored responses into this. Here we have the cancellation in the billing section so you can see your previous payments on the card in your account. Subscription is actually where we’re showing the plans and the pricing. But here we put billing and cancellations have come through the billings.

[00:59:50] – Peter

Okay, so just a moment before you cancel, please tell us the reason. So we’ve got the similar kind of reasons here. We’re just going to go through one by one the options we provide, depending on what the user clicks on, the software is too costly. Okay, do you need a different plan? Do we need you to downgrade, or do you need to go back on a free trial or have some help to get set up? And then you’ve got this option down here. No, thanks. I just like to cancel so they can still go through. But at least we’re trying to cover. Maybe they’ve signed up to the top tier.

If functionality is missing, we offer them feature requests so that if they do still cancel, we get the feature. We understand the feature that was missing. Now if you have an ICP and they keep asking for the same features, then guess what? That obviously becomes a high priority for your product. Great. Thank you for your feedback. Now would you like to chat with our support team? And there’s an opportunity for us to try to resolve this issue of the missing feature.

[01:00:54.100] – Peter

It could even be a misunderstanding if they’re not using the product. Okay, maybe want to offer them to pause the account so that’s a good option for that. You can pause return to billing and they can reactivate resume plan back here. Software is difficult to use. OK chat with customer support. I’m using a different product, literally. Just the founder of CRM Grow wanted to know, okay, what products are you using and why are you considering switching? So it’s quite nice and direct.

You can really get to find out how they’re valuing your competitors. Thank you for the feedback. Then we just still asking for conversation with them to see if we can resolve whatever the issue is or find out more info. Finally, if there’s another reason, we get that reason, then offer them the support. Finally. And no thanks. So they have to really go through two or three steps and say that they want to cancel two or three times and then we cancel the account. So that’s two examples of flows there. Is there anything on those flows that anybody wants to ask? If you do, just throw it into the chat.

[01:02:13.100] – Peter

And as you’re doing that, jump back to our slideshow. And our final slide here, I just reiterate that. So at User Active, we’re a product design team. So we basically work with SaaS companies as their product team. If you need help with design, making a product more intuitive, building more value into your product. We basically work in Sigma, run Design sprints, we do UX and UI.

So if that is of value to you, then and you have some issues with your product, then you’re more than welcome any time to book a call without any obligation to talk about some of your product issues. I’m more than happy to do this with you. I’m just going to find this link and I’m going to put that link in the chat. Hey, Nick, great to see you. So glad you could join us. Thanks for thanks for joining. Glad you got some value from this. Okay, so there’s a link if you want to book a 15 minutes call with me. Other than that, that’s been the session. So thanks everyone for joining. I’ve really enjoyed it. The great hearing about your comments and your staff.

[01:03:25.710] – Peter

So I wish you all the best. Do reach out to me if you start working on cancellations and you have any thoughts and feedback that you want to share or you want to show us a flow that you built. Okay, great. Cheers, everybody. Hey, it’s all done. Good to see. Take care. See you again soon. No doubt. Okay, well, see you everybody. Great to see the flow Alphonsine. Hey, good. Glad you liked them. Super stuff. See you everyone. Thank you. Bye.

Sarah Stratton

Sarah manages the social media at UserActive as well as other marketing activities. She also writes blog content for UserActive.

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